Not That Duke

Avon. (Would-Be Wallflowers, Bk. 3). Jul. 2023. 416p. ISBN 9780063139626. pap. $9.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
The third in James’s “Would-Be Wallflowers” series (after The Reluctant Countess) pits a decidedly unconventional lady against a duke in search of the ideal wife. Lady Stella Corsham is unfashionable in every way: she’s short, plump, bespectacled, redheaded, and opinionated. The only reason she has suitors at all is her generous dowry. Silvester Parnell, Duke of Huntington, is on the hunt for the perfect duchess: elegant, beautiful, well-mannered, and fashionable—a duchess like Lady Yasmin and utterly unlike Lady Stella, whom he laughingly calls “Specs.” This enemies-to-friends-to-lovers romance uses humor to show how a match that looks perfect on paper may be no match at all when it comes to chemistry, and the eccentric ladies of the Would-Be Wallflowers demonstrate how being a true individual is the height of fashion. Although some may struggle to understand Silvester’s single-minded pursuit of Yasmin long after developing affection for Stella, those who sit back and enjoy the ride are in for a compelling and delightful read.
VERDICT Readers need not have read previous books in the series to enjoy this light and humorous historical romance.
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